Force majeure (or vis major – litteraly means "greater force") in international trade are defined as non-foreseeable, unavoidable extra-ordinatory events beyond the control of the participants of a commercial transaction, which could not have been avoided with adequate, reasonable means (f.e. wars, civil wars, revolutions, earth-quakes, hurrican, fire, etc.). By implementing a „force-majeure-clause“ in commercial contracts it shall be made expressly clear, that in case of Force Majeure a party’s non-performance shall be excused.
As different legal systems and traditions do have variable definitions of Force Majeure and special amendments of such definitions to a certain contract are quite common, ICC has designed a Force Majeure clause, to facilitate the drafting process both for companies and for their lawyers.
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